Vegan Creamy ‘Cheesy’ Broccoli Soup

‘Cheesy’ Broccoli Soup For the Win: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Paleo Recipe

For real guys. This creamy cheesy broccoli soup is hands-down the most satisfying soup I’ve ever made, or ever tasted for that matter. All the creaminess. All the cheesy flavor. None of the dairy or its side effects.

Can it be real? Oh yes it’s really real. It’s a vegan take on cream of broccoli soup, or broccoli cheddar soup – one of my all-time favorite soups. But the original version is quite decadent. So I made a couple swaps to keep it paleo, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

No lies: Can’t. Get. Enough. I’ve been making soup all week – this was my third recipe, yet the first to be devoured. And I want to make more. It’s *so* tasty and oh-so-satisfying.

And the best part is you can leave all the guilt at the front door: it’s free of all the not-so-good stuff that can leave us feeling bloated, heavy, and lethargic. Bonus: this version is not just cleaner, it’s jam-packed with health-boosting ingredients. For. The. Win.

vegan cheesy creamy broccoli soup

Flavor-Full and Nutrient-Dense

I added plenty of vegetables in the form of broccoli, celery, leeks, and garlic, which all contain potent anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, immunity boosters, and cancer-fighting and preventative properties, just to name a few.

Then I added a little coconut milk to keep it creamy. Even though I use plenty of coconut milk in my life, I was worried the flavor wouldn’t quite strike the right balance. We want cheesiness people, not coconut. I want broccoli coconut soup. Said no one, ever.

Fortunately, with the addition of some spices and a good amount of nutritional yeast, I achieved that savory, umami, cheesy flavor we can’t get enough of.

Now I know most of us don’t want to go out of our way to get obscure, hard-to-find ingredients that we’ll never use again after making the one recipe. So for those of you who read ‘nutritional yeast’ and were like ok no can’t be bothered or thought to yourself ‘what is nutritional yeast… it sounds gross’ … hold that thought and READ ON.

vegan creamy broccoli soup recipe cheesy dairy-free paleo gluten-free

Why You Should Use Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a staple in my pantry. And I personally feel nutritional yeast should be a staple in every dairy-free pantry. Or every cutting-back-on-the-cheese pantry. Or just every pantry. Not only does it stem those all-consuming cravings for cheese to which we often surrender, it packs in a wallop of nutritional benefits. Hence: nutritional yeast. And it’s so easy to use.

It’s very unfortunate name belies its benefits: these little yellow flakes turn a palatable savory dish into a treat for your taste buds. I sprinkle it on all sorts of dishes, from soups to eggs to salads, and incorporate it into so many of my vegan sauces and dips when I want to mimic a cheesy flavor. It’s almost like magic.

Nutritional Yeast Myth Busting

If you’ve never had it, I can understand the hesitation. It sounds gross, looks weird, and seems like some fancy supplement that will set you back a pretty penny.

  • Nutritional yeast is not hard to find. You can find nutritional yeast in most stores – I’ve had success everywhere I’ve gone.
    • Bragg’s makes nutritional yeast, which I usually find in the spices aisle.
    • Bob’s Red Mill makes it
    • as does Trader Joe’s.
    • Whole Foods has it’s own version, usually located in the supplements aisle. It’s a big bucket, so I prefer to get that.
    • You might find other brands in the spice section.
  • Nutritional yeast is not the bad yeast we think of. Nutritional yeast is yeast, but a deactivated form of it. Nutritional yeast is good for you.
  • Per serving, it’s not at all expensive – far less so than cheese itself.

So there you have it. Every reason you should get nutritional yeast, now!

And then make this delicious, nutritious cheesy broccoli soup as soon as it’s in your possession. You’re welcome. 😉

Creamy Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Soup

Your favorite creamy, cheesy broccoli soup made dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, and vegan! 

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Amanda


  • 3 cups chopped broccoli can use stems and florets
  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • 1 leek, white and light green part, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups broth
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/8 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 can coconut milk 13.5 oz


  1. Wash and chop vegetables. For the leeks, I like to cut them into roughly 1cm thick rounds, then cut those rounds in half. 

  2. In a medium pot, steam the broccoli. 

  3. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, and garlic and sauté until the leeks are just beginning to turn golden brown and the celery is tender. While the vegetables are cooking, be sure to monitor the broccoli and remove from heat when tender. 

  4. Add the spices and steamed broccoli to the vegetables, then pour in the broth. Bring everything to a light boil then reduce the heat. You may simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend, or simply remove from the heat as the vegetables should all be thoroughly cooked and tender.

  5. Use an immersion blender to purée the mixture, or transfer to a high speed blender or food processor to blend then return to the pot. 

  6. Once the mixture is blended, add the coconut milk and nutritional yeast and stir thoroughly to incorporate. 

  7. Serve and enjoy! Keeps for up to a week in the fridge, or freeze any leftovers. 


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